Mediation In Child Custody and Divorce or paternity In Oklahoma is designed to settle your case without a trial. An unfortunate reality of having kids or marriage is the possibility of it ending in a dispute. If your marriage ends or you have a child custody disputes, your entire life can be flipped upside down. The emotions and feelings that you experience may cause you to go into a defensive position and hunker down for a fight with the other party. In an attempt to avoid the costly and time consuming process of litigation, mediation offers a potential pathway toward a peaceful and amicable resolution of your marriage and child custody issues.
While mediation may not work for every couple, it may work for you and your spouse if you are not too far apart on the issues. Here’s more on what you need to know about mediation and the role that it can play in child custody and divorce.
How Mediation in Child Custody Works?
In order for a child custody or divorce to be finalized, all issues between the couples must be resolved. This also includes paternity case where the parents are unmarried. What this means is that any disagreements on the distribution of assets or support must be hashed out through an agreement or by the judge in court. Mediation works by a neutral third party listening to you and your spouse’s positions before coming up with a proposed solution that can work for both parents and spouses. Most mediation is non-binding, which means that the mediator’s recommendation can be accepted or rejected. If you and your spouse decide to accept the mediator’s proposal, then the agreement will become a court order and will resolve the issue(s). If you reject it, then your case will likely go in front of a judge.
How Is Mediation Different From Going To Court?
Mediation differs from a contested court hearing in that there is not a judge who will make a decision. Mediation also will not involve the taking of testimony or the presentation of evidence. Instead, both you and your spouse will meet with the mediator who will then attempt to help you both form an agreement with each other. The purpose of the mediator is not to determine who is right or wrong, but rather to facilitate a resolution to certain of your problems. It is important to note that some counties in Oklahoma may require mediation before a case can go to trial.
Who Is The Mediator in a Custody Case?
While not always the case, most mediators are trained or certified in mediation. Typically your mediator will have a background in therapy or social work or family law. They may also have some legal background as some are retired or former lawyers. The mediator is skilled in listening to the positions of all sides involved and working toward an agreement that satisfies both parties.
Is Mediation Right For Me?
Mediation typically works best for couples that are close to an agreement on asset division, support or child custody, but still have some lingering issues that need to be resolved. If you and your spouse are fully entrenched in your positions, then mediation may not be a good fit. Still, because most mediation is non–binding, it may be wise to at least attempt it before you opt for a trial which can easily costs thousands of dollars in legal fees and other expenses.
Mediation also has the distinct advantage of sparing children from the potential traumatic experience of testifying at a custody hearing. Putting a child on the stand who will then have to tell a room full of strangers about where they would like to live, is an outcome most parents would like to avoid. Before you begin mediation, it is recommended that you consult with a family law attorney to develop a strategy and to outline your goals for the meeting.
Tulsa Child Custody Attorneys Near Me
Regardless of whether you’re seeking sole or joint custody we can help get it done. Kania Law Office lawyers are skilled at helping Oklahomans with mediation as it relates to divorce, child custody or other matters in an efficient and cost-effective manner. For more information about getting a divorce or paternity and child custody in Oklahoma, touch base with the family law attorneys at Kania Law Office by calling (918) 743-2233 or by contacting us online.